White Paper

AFRL seeks white papers

Concepts sought for networking, services, and information assurance requirements in the context of a Global Information Grid.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Information Directorate, Rome Research Site is soliciting white papers for concept developments, experiments, and demonstrations involving new and innovative approaches to support future Air Force networking, services, and information assurance requirements in the context of a Global Information Grid (GIG). The GIG is a globally interconnected, interoperable, and secure system of systems for collecting, processing, storing, disseminating, and managing information on demand to warfighters, policy makers, and support personnel. This Broad Agency Announcement is BAA-01-04-IFKPA.

Leveraging commercial technologies and the potential for dual use by both the military and civilian communities are two additional aspects of this program. This activity is aimed at addressing the scale and complexity of a GIG which will provide new, end-user, multimedia, information services and support, distributed command & control, intelligence, telemedicine, and similar applications. These services and applications are vital to the Air Force mission to deploy and sustain forces anywhere in the world. To this end, the ability to send a wide variety of data across a global network comprised of communications channels of varying characteristics, in a secure, survivable manner, is of prime importance.

An underlying assumption is that DOD communications will be derived from the commercial, national, and international fiber optic cable infrastructure. However, to reach deployed or airborne units, wireless extension of that infrastructure is necessary. Both terrestrial and satellite transmission systems will be required to support this extension capability and will also be inherent components of these deployed networks. In both instances, they will be required to support large amounts of information throughput.

Research areas
Candidate areas of technical research in support of communications networking, services, and information assurance technology for a GIG are the following.

    1. Implementation and novel Extension of High Speed Large Scale Networks: Effective implementation of networks to support a deployed Joint Forces Air Component Command and below. Efforts should address areas related to security and authentication, survivability and dependability, traffic management and traffic flow control, network management in a virtual network environment, mobile nodes and networks, self reconfiguring, and dynamic routing. Technologies to support network management will provide global management of the entire information infrastructure. Future management systems must provide for this overall management capability. This infrastructure includes numerous resources such as communications equipment, network switching equipment, distributed operating systems, and user applications. Encouraged are new and innovative ideas in management systems technologies including visualization techniques, network emulation, artificial intelligence, and any other appropriate technology. Also encouraged is technology to provide specific management techniques for heterogeneous network environments, as well as cooperating management entities. Effective extension of network technology developments to provide launch points from high speed networks into highly constrained deployed networks.
    2. Interoperability: For interoperability of an increasingly diverse set of transmission systems, work is encouraged but not limited to; development and demonstration of theater (deployed) fiber optic and high bandwidth RF (including satellite links) networking technology for high bandwidth communications between multi-media display systems that provide an interactive, common picture of battlespace to Theater and Component Commanders. The network should be scaleable, modular, survivable, secure, and provide for interoperability with global commercial communications infrastructure. Examples of enhancing the bandwidth capacity are: Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM), ultra short pulse Time Division Multiplexing (TDM), Optical Code Division Multiplexing (OCDMA) and a hybrid of such schemes. Examples of devices are: integrated transmitters and receivers, amplifiers, switches (SONET, ATM, Packet), synchronizers, frequency translators, filters, and routers.
    3. User Network Services: The goal is to formulate innovative ideas for user services which use high bandwidth global networks, low bandwidth battlesite networks, airborne segments, and combinations of the these, experiment with them, and possibly develop promising ideas into demonstrable prototypes.

Future services will provide the capability for day-to-day mission planning/execution in a distributed C2 coalition environment and assist commanders in making critical decisions in heavy stress situations. Past work in this area has centered around interactive, interpersonal communications services (workstation video windows, video conferencing, shared workplace graphics, multimedia presentation, multimedia conferencing, imagery dissemination) that provide the capability of collaboration among distributed users, both fixed and mobile. Also encouraged are new and innovative ideas for communications services which will support emerging technologies such as visualization and distributed virtual reality, and technologies which support new and innovative communications services such as data compression techniques or others.

Also encouraged is work addressing the psychology of individuals and groups in the decision making process in distributed military C2 and the definition of new communications services which support that process. Deliverables will include technical reports, and when appropriate, advanced technology demonstrations. Development of prototype hardware/software may be pursued if such development is directed at the demonstration of a particular approach or concept. Such hardware/software development must be unrelated to a specific weapon system and not intended directly for the Air Force inventory. Principal funding for proposals selected from this announcement will begin in FY2001. Individual awards will not normally exceed 24 months in duration with dollar amounts normally ranging from $100,000 to $400,000 per fiscal year. Total funding for the BAA is $4.9M.

What do I need to submit?
Contractors are required to submit three copies of a two- to three-page white paper on their proposed research topic to David E. Krzysiak, Air Force Research Laboratory/IFGA, 525 Brooks Rd., Rome, NY 13441-4505, Reference BAA 01-04-IFKPA. Small businesses only should send one copy of the cover letter only (First Class Mail, Unclassified Only) to ATTN: Ms Janis Norelli, Director of Small Business, AFRL/IFB, 26 Electronic Parkway, Rome, NY 13441-4514. The initial cutoff date for submission is July 1 to permit FY01 awards. White papers submitted after that date will be reviewed on a time available basis in the order received. Last date for submission of white papers is Dec. 31, 2002.

The white paper should be formatted as follows: Section A: Title, Period of Performance, Cost of Effort, and name of company; Section B: Task Objective; and, Section C: Technical Summary. Each bidder may submit multiple white papers within the purview of this BAA. The purpose of this white paper is to preclude unwarranted effort on the part of a bidder whose proposed work is not of interest to the government. Those white papers found to be consistent with the intent of the BAA and of interest to the government may be invited to submit a technical and cost proposal. Complete instructions for proposal preparation and submission will be forwarded with any proposal invitation. Such invitation does not assure that the submitting offeror will be awarded a subsequent contract. Proposals submitted will be evaluated as they are received. Individual proposal evaluations will be based on acceptability or nonacceptability without regard to other proposals submitted under this announcement.

How will AFRL evaluate the proposals?
Evaluation of proposals will be performed using the following criteria:

    1. The overall scientific and/or technical merits of the proposal,
    2. The potential contributions of the proposed approach to the overall military networking, services, and information assurance for a GIG concept,
    3. The reasonableness and realism of cost and schedules. No further evaluation criteria will be used in the selection process.

Criteria (1) and (2) will be used to determine whether the white papers submitted are consistent with intent of this BAA and of interest to the government. Options are discouraged and unpriced options will not be considered for award. Awards of efforts as a result of this BAA will be in the form of contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, or other transactions depending upon the nature of the work proposed. All responsible firms may submit a white paper, which shall be considered. Provide your Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Number and reference number BAA 01-04-IFKPA with your submissions. Foreign or foreign-owned entities are advised that participation is subject to foreign disclosure review procedures. Foreign or foreign-owned entities should immediately contact Joetta Bernhard, Air Force Research Laboratory/IFKPA, 26 Electronic Parkway, Rome, NY 13441-4514, or by telephone at 315-330-2308, for information if they contemplate responding. A copy of the "BAA & PRDA: A Guide for Industry", Sep 96 (Rev), may be accessed at: http://www.if.afrl.af.mil/div/IFK/bp-guide.html.

Source: U.S. Air Force

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